THE U-Pick GARDEN will be closing August 20th. This will be the last year the garden will be open to the public. Next year I'll be operating as a CSA, supplying about 20 regular customers with weekly boxes. Thank you for your support over the last 8 years, but it's time to try something new.

To get a copy of my book, "How To Grow Vegetables In Sitka, Alaska" just give me a call....The books are $20 plus tax. If you live out of town and want me to mail you a copy, you can mail a check for $25.60 to:

Lori Adams
P O Box 6021
Sitka, Alaska

Down To Earth U-Pick Garden is located at 2103 Sawmill Creek Road in Sitka, Alaska. It is open usually from mid-June through late August. Hours are Monday-Saturday 12:00 to 6:30. On Farmer's Market Saturdays I am not open until 2:00. Children are welcome but may not run through the garden or chase the ducks. If you have any questions you can contact me, Lori Adams, at 907-747-6108 or 907-738-2241. My email address is

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Cider And The Doughnuts

After we picked all of the apples......

..... we headed over to the garage where my folks store the cider press.

This cider press belonged to my Dad's Grandpa. It has seen a lot of use over the was originally designed as a hand crank, and then my Dad's Dad rigged it up to the tractor with a belt, and then someone borrowed it and rigged it up with an electric motor. It has had been modified, repaired, and shored up.....and just keeps making cider.

The first step in making cider was to cut every apple in half to inspect them for bad spots and worms.....

And look who showed up to help......fresh from college.......Levi!

There seemed to be a wide range of opinions on what constitutes a "bad spot". Some folks just throw them in bad spots and all, some folks like to cut out the worst spots, and some folks won't tolerate a single blemish. I don't think we ever came to complete agreement....everyone in our family is quite opinionated!  So we just all did whatever we wanted to and they all got thrown in together! We called worms, "Protein".

Next, we fired up the cider press and dumped the processed apples into the hopper for the grinder....

The grinder shredded the apples and dropped them into a bucket that's made out of wooden slats....

When the bucket was full we pulled it forward....

And put on the lid.

The screw jack that operates the press plate has gone up and down so many times in its lifetime that the threads are worn out, so now we use a car jack to do the pressing....

It's helpful to insert a metal plate at this point....

And the squeeze was on!

Just look at the cider flow! So natural, so nutritious, and so delicious!

And while we were doing nieces were inside doing this.....

That's right people.....homemade doughnuts!

Pumpkin doughnuts and Apple Fritters!  And yes, they were as delicious as they looked! The girls brought them out to us piping hot while we worked outside. It doesn't get much better than that.

Funny how the word spreads and close neighbors and relatives start showing up out of the woodwork!

It was a fun, fun day, and I loved it that everyone felt welcome to stop by.  My family is nice that way!


  1. What a wonderful day!!! I love all of the pictures. And those girls looks so cute in their aprons. I must admit I got a little teary. I am sad to miss pressing cider with my family this year. So glad you got to spend this time with yours. :)

    1. I was expecting and hoping that you would crash the were a no-show!

  2. When I write my cider day post I'll have to link to yours since I like how you explain how the press works. :)

    1. Sure....after I do all the research! Ha! Of course you are welcome to the info!

  3. I see Ardys came...did you make her work?

    1. No, she cut up her apples as home and brought them over....I don't think she liked the volume of "protein" that was in our apples.

  4. Looks fun -- I'll have check it out next year!